Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could meet in Champions League as Man City draw PSG as Man Utd get Villarreal rematch
26th August 2021

LIONEL MESSI'S rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo could be reignited after Manchester City were drawn against Paris Saint-Germain in Group A of the Champions League.

Man Utd also face a Europa League final rematch against Villarreal in Group F.

Current champions Chelsea will play Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg and Malmo in Group H.

Liverpool are in Group B and will come up against Atletico Madrid who knocked them out of the tournament in 2020.

Jurgen Klopp's men also face games against Porto and AC Milan.

And Man Utd's group is completed by Young Boys and Italian side Atalanta.

City were drawn out first and will also play RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.

Ronaldo, 36, is said to have agreed personal terms with Pep Guardiola's side – with Juventus' demands preventing a move for now.

Champions League group stage draw 21-22

Here’s the final 2021-22 Champions League group stage lineup…

Group A: Man City, PSG, RB Leipzig, Brugge.

Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan.

Group C: Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas.

Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol.

Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kiev.

Group F: Villarreal, Man Utd, Atalanta, Young Boys.

Group G: Lille, Sevilla, RB Salzburg, Wolfsburg.

Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg, Malmo.

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But the transfer is far from off the table and it could see Ronaldo and Messi go head-to-head once again if he makes the Etihad switch.

Fans across the world have long argued who is the best of the two – especially when they were playing across Spain's El Clasico divide.

And they may be able to see the two greats face off on two more occasions after Messi joined French giants PSG this summer having left cash-strapped Barcelona.

Chelsea and City were drawn from pot one while United and Liverpool came from pot two.

Moldovan club FC Sheriff Tiraspol are appearing in the Champions League for the first time ever and will play in Group D alongside Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Barcelona will take on Group E without Messi and the Catalans will have to overcome Bayern Munich, Benfica and Dynamo Kiev.

Group C comprises Sporting Lisbon, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Besiktas.

And Group G is probably the easiest with Lille, Sevilla, RB Salzburg and Wolfsburg.

Thursday's draw started at 5pm UK time in Istanbul.

Hosts Pedro Pinto and Laura Wontorra conducted proceedings before Chelsea's Champions League winning former stars Branislav Ivanovic and Michael Essien were welcomed on stage to draw the teams.

The Blues icons appeared shortly after Uefa chief Aleksander Ceferin was called up to present Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and the team's medical staff with the Uefa President's Award.

They were honoured for their actions during the heart-wrenching incident that saw Christian Eriksen suffer a cardiac arrest during the Euros.

HOW DO TEAMS PROGRESS?

The top two teams from each group will progress to the last 16 knockout stage.

Clubs who finish third will drop into the Europa League last 16 where they face teams who finished second in the Europa League groups.

Fourth-placed sides will be eliminated.

The Champions League final will be played on Saturday May 28, 2022 at the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg, Russia.

Chelsea beat Man City 1-0 in last season's closely fought final in Porto in May.

Read our Transfer news live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals

When will the Champions League group stage matches be played?

The Champions League group stage draw took place on Thursday afternoon and here is when the matches will take place…

Matchday one: 14/15 September

Matchday two: 28/29 September

Matchday three: 19/20 October

Matchday four: 2/3 November

Matchday five: 23/24 November

Matchday six: 7/8 December

Kai Havertz bagged the Blues' winner and fans of the West Londoners will hope Thomas Tuchel can lead them to European glory once again.

West Ham and Leicester will find out their Europa League group stage opponents on Friday.

The draw takes place at 12 noon UK time and is also in Istanbul.

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